only film in Telugu was made in Andhra region in which his earlier
political Hindi dramas (Ankur, 1973; Nishant, 1975)
are located. Continuing his interest in the politics of rural exploitation,
this is a morality tale linking religious illusions with personal
a mystical Marathi novel, it tells of the Brahmin Parashuram (Nag)
who meets the sage Konduraswamy (Rao Gopal Rao) and receives a boon:
in exchange for a vow of celibacy he receives a root able to terminate
pregnancies. Parashuram's wife (Vanisree) reluctantly goes along
with her husband's new convictions and soon he becomes known as
a holy man.
his dreams, the 'holy man' covets the daughter-in-law of rich scoundrel
and, mistakenly assuming that the scoundrel impregnated her, Parashuram
administers the abortive root to the woman with disastrous results.
Disillusioned, Parasuram realizes his asceticism was an act of naivety
and he proceeds to rape his own wife who then commits suicide. The
film ends with a voice-over instructing the audience to consider
the implications of the story.
original novel, set in the culturally primitive Konkan, uses its
central mythic narrative to create different states of perception
so that the viewer is consistently asked to interrogate the protagonist's
experiences, leaving open the question of whether the frustrated
and exploited Parashuram every really saw what he says he saw. This
film sidesteps this level of complexity and settles for a more standard
political critique of feudalism.